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#1 of 53 Old 05-15-2010, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did a search and couldn't find anything, but if there is a half birthday thread please point me in its direction!

We're celebrating our sons half birthday this June (and plan on doing it every year like this) and I would love any suggestions! He will be 18 months old, I think he may be to young for a theme so im thinking just some food and cake? id like to make it a come and go party, very laid back.

On another note, any suggestion on how to ask for gifts that support our values? (handmade, natural materials and so on?). I hope that our friends and family know us well enough to know how we're raising our son, but I thought I should include a little note with the invite?

ETA: to clarification, we will not be celebrating the December birthday.

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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#2 of 53 Old 05-15-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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For gifts... I'd just ask folks not to bring any if you are picky about what you want your child to have. Or you could have a wish list ready in case anyone asks you, but I would not specify what to get your child on the invite.

We just did a 6.5 party (HALF WAY TO A TEENAGER!!!) and made clear on the Evite that it was just about celebrating together and that there would be no gifts and favors.

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#3 of 53 Old 05-15-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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so, are you not doing regular birthday parties? Is it customary to do half birthdays in your family/community?
I get the delimma of how to celebrate a winter birthday... but I think I would just focus on celebrating together and not requesting gifts of any sort (unless that is something commonly done in your family).

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#4 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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We do a half birthday every year for my 6 year old, but as we also do a birthday party (I do the birthday, her dad does the hirfday) we expressly say no gifts. I would only accept gifts if you don't do them for the actual birthday.
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#5 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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do you celebrate both year and half year? If so then definitely specify 'no gifts' on your invitation. I can't even imagine being invited to 2 parties a year for someone and get a gift spec for each one!

If you only celebrate at the half year mark (?? I think maybe I am missing some background) then no mention of gifts, please. People include gift receipts. If they don't then freecycle. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your gift.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#6 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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Not sure that it's really any different than a regular birthday party, except for being 6 mos after. My son's a December kid, and we just had his friend party in late January/early February - just when everyone has that holiday let-down.

And I agree with the gift thing. If you're also doing a regular birthday celebration (with gifts), no gifts should be expected for the half bday. Otherwise, it's never really polite to specify what sort of gift to bring. The only time it doesn't annoy me is when it's an "in lieu of gifts... we are request a donation appropriate for..." Of course, then you have to hope people know what "in lieu of" means. My daughter requested donations for the animal shelter for her Sweet 16, and a bunch of her friends thought "in lieu of" meant "in addition to"...
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#7 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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I agree that I would not expect (or request anything specific) for a half-birthday celebration. We celebrated them growing up (I don't with my own kids), but it meant choosing what we wanted to have for dinner, getting to use a special plate, and my mom making a chocolate cake. I'm kinda surprised anyone invites others for a half-birthday, TBH - but to each their own.

Specifying about gifts without being asked is tacky (even for a yearly birthday). I can see finding a clever way to say you'd prefer not to have any gifts, since that seems to be acceptable for many, but you really should not say "we only want special-wooden-non-battery-plastic-free gifts" even if that's your preference.

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#8 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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I don't know much about 1/2 birthday parties, except that the parents usually only have the one party like pp mentioned, and their children have bdays in Dec or early Jan, like your DS.

We've been invited to a few parties where the children have registered at the local toy store. The info is included on the invitation. As a guest, I've both picked things off the list and chose something I thought was appropriate. I'm not put off by the idea of a toy registry, but don't think I'll do it for my kids. My sister threw a "book party" for my two nephews and specified on the invitations that guests should bring ONE favorite book (used or new) or no gift. That idea went over pretty well with the guests.

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#9 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for everyone's input and suggestions, I do appreciate it!

jtbuko, I like the idea of a gift wish list, that way if anyone wants it ill have it on hand, but I wont have to include it with the invites.

shanniesue2 (and many others, sorry for not quoting all of you), no, we will not be celebrating his birthday on December 22nd. My hubby and I will have a special meal with him but that will be the extent of it. My son's grandparents are all divorced (some of them twice) and many are remarried with new families who have have Christmas traditions (certain days that they get together) during the week before Christmas. We know that they would love to celebrate Sebastian's birthday, but we want it to be all about him so as a family we decided to celebrate his half birthday's instead. Not to mention, here in Winnipeg we're looking at -30 or colder in December.. sometimes -45 with the wind!

wondertwins, the book party sounds wonderful! What a creative idea!

... I think ill update my original post to clarify that we will not be celebrating his December birthday, I think it may have came across like we are looking to milk our friends and family for gifts, which is totally not the case!

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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#10 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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thanks for the clarification!

How about a painting party... just get a bunch of washable finger paint and a variety of brushes/paint utencils. Spread out some large sheets of paper and call it a party... this is what I thought about for DS's 2 year old party... but because his birthday is at the end of february, we can't count on not having cold weather. But in June, you could do the paint stuff outside then provide a sprinkler for the kids to play in and not have to worry about getting paint all over the house.

As to the gifts, with grandparents I have offered suggestions like "I think DS would really enjoy x, y, or z... but if you find something you think is really cool, I bet he would enjoy that, too." Or for Christmas, I told them that DS was really into trains... just gave them a broad category to work with. But I wouldn't put a note in the invite or anything (especially if you're going to invite non family members)... these comments were just part of conversations when the grandparents were asking for ideas.

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#11 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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ETA: to clarification, we will not be celebrating the December birthday.
You're not going to celebrate it at all, or do you mean you're not having a big party and inviting people over? Not even a special dinner?

I understand the appeal of a half-birthday party in the summer, as my entire family's birthdays are in November and December. But I personally am horrified at the idea of expecting anyone to bring my child a gift when it's not actually her birthday. A party with cake and games and all the stuff that goes with, sure. Gifts, no. Gifts would be for family to give at the small family celebration on her birthday.
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#12 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Don't people always bring presents to a kids birthday party? I can't imagine not bringing a gift just because it was a few months later. My son's birthday is in April and there was one year that we didn't do the kid party until mid June. Everyone still brought presents

OP I think you are wise to consider the fact that people will most likely bring gifts unless you specify not too. IME interwebz rules tend not to apply so much in the real world. It is tacky to specify gifts, unless you do something like the book party, which would allow for someone short on time or money to participate.

What is the difference between buying a kid on their actual birthday and buying a gift for their half birthday? This has always stumped me.
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#13 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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Don't people always bring presents to a kids birthday party? I can't imagine not bringing a gift just because it was a few months later. My son's birthday is in April and there was one year that we didn't do the kid party until mid June. Everyone still brought presents

OP I think you are wise to consider the fact that people will most likely bring gifts unless you specify not too. IME interwebz rules tend not to apply so much in the real world. It is tacky to specify gifts, unless you do something like the book party, which would allow for someone short on time or money to participate.

What is the difference between buying a kid on their actual birthday and buying a gift for their half birthday? This has always stumped me.
it's not the kid's birthday.

Personally I would do a no presents party.

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#14 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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it's not the kid's birthday.

Personally I would do a no presents party.
But it is the day his parents are choosing to celebrate his birth, so I do think gifts are appropriate.

As for party activities, my twins have a June bday, and we have lucked into nice weather both years (fingers crossed that will continue!). Last year, for their 2nd birthday, we had a backyard party. We asked guests to bring their swimsuits, turned on the sprinkler, filled up the swimming pool and opened up the sandbox. This would work great if people were coming and going, too. The party started at 2:00, so there were no meal expectations, but we had a lot of yummy snacks and cold drinks, for both adults and kids. Everyone had a good time, and we even avoided opening gifts until after the party, as everyone was enjoying themselves outside.

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#15 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Okay, now that you clarified - I do think it's okay to accept gifts for a half-birthday celebration that will take the place of a regular birthday (though, I would personally prefer to have the part closer to my kids' b-day, so I would have a party in Nov., or early Jan - but that's doesn't matter b/c it's not my kid )

I am glad you decided not to include a wish list with invites - I think if grandparents ask it's okay to say "hey, now that you said that, he really does love cars and balls right now" -- but anything else isn't polite, IMO.

I have never been to a birthday party 6 mos before the actual birthday - so that is why it's hard to imagine saying happy 2nd birthday, for a kid who just turned one not that long ago, yk? But I suppose people just celebrate his birth the same as they would if it was closer to his real birthday - which likely includes bringing cards and gifts.

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#16 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nashvillemidwife, no, we will not be inviting people or family over to celebrate his 22nd birthday.. it will just be the three of us. Of course, when he is older, if he wants to have his bday party in December we will do that.

dubfam, I always bring gifts, but maybe im in the minority? heehee I wasn't actually going to specify to bring gifts, I was going to say that if they wish to bring a gift something handmade or preloved is fine with us.

We were recently invited to a party that included a long list of gifts, as well as websites where we could by local used gifts like kijiji and a place that we could make donations. There was also a price limit on the gift. I think receiving that invite is what made me question if I should include anything a gift.. after all, this is my first time around at this!

wondertwins, sounds like a great party!

Drummer's Wife, ive never been to a half birthday either :| I hope it goes well! Ill be sure to include something about it being a half bday and that he will be 18 months on the invite

Thanks again mama's for all your insight and suggestions!

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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#17 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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Are you celebrating his first birthday or his second birthday?

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#18 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you celebrating his first birthday or his second birthday?
We're celebrating his year and a half birthday...

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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#19 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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i would celebrate it exactly like a regular bday following whatever philosophy you follow. i would even have a bday cake and everything. i would do the whole 2 thing - coz it would make party stuff so much easier. in time your son will understand. he wont be confused. i did dd's half bdays till she was about 4. her half bdays were personal celebrations. it did not confuse her. she knew the difference between half and regular bdays.

i would be doing the exact thing you are doing if my dd's bday was so close to xmas.

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#20 of 53 Old 05-16-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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We're celebrating his year and a half birthday...
Ok then then I would do a no presents party, presents are for Birthdays not half birthdays.

And your son is one he wont care about presents, and as an added benefit you won't have to deal with plastic toys.

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#21 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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Ok then then I would do a no presents party, presents are for Birthdays not half birthdays.

<respectfully snipped >
What is the difference?? I just don't understand why it matters what date the birthday is celebrated on. Please, someone enlighten me...what is so offensive about half b-days?? This is assuming that you don't have a party for the regular b-day of course.
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#22 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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Well not ofensive, but it seems a little silly, dont like your birthday pick another one, Birhtdays are a celebration of when your child entered the world what exactly are you celebrating in a half birthday, it just seems like an excuse to have a party on a sunny day, which is fine have the party, you can even do 1/4 birhtday, 3/4 birhtday, just don't expect people to bring presents. And please do celebrate around the kids actual birthday, even if it's just a imidiate family thing, I can't imaigne not having any celebrations on my birhtday and being told I have to wait 6 months when it is more convinient to have a party.

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#23 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Well not ofensive, but it seems a little silly, dont like your birthday pick another one, Birhtdays are a celebration of when your child entered the world what exactly are you celebrating in a half birthday, it just seems like an excuse to have a party on a sunny day, which is fine have the party, you can even do 1/4 birhtday, 3/4 birhtday, just don't expect people to bring presents. And please do celebrate around the kids actual birthday, even if it's just a imidiate family thing, I can't imaigne not having any celebrations on my birhtday and being told I have to wait 6 months when it is more convinient to have a party.
Well, according to the OP's earlier posts, her DS's birthday is just a few days before Christmas and her family has been extended by remarriage, so everyone is going in different directions during the holidays. When my twins turned 1 the party was more about adults and older nieces and nephews anyway, as my LO's didn't have any actual friends. I believe she also said that the weather is pretty brutal in December where she is, so a summer party would be more comfortable for everyone.

I think of parties, especially birthday parties as a time to celebrate a special person. And when I am a guest at a party I appreciate that the person throwing the shindig took the time to prepare food and drinks and so my gift is both a thank you for the effort and for the honoree a way of saying "I'm glad you're you!".

What do you think of people who get married without guests and then have a reception at a later time?

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#24 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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I'm not comfortable with birthdays being celebrated on days other than the date on each a person was actually born. DD1's birthday is Dec 21 and that's when we celebrate it. We do private birthdays (me, dh, the kids) so Christmas isn't a problem and I don't care about the -40 weather here.

If I want to have a big summer party with friends/family then I would do so as it's own party not as a birthday.
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#25 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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What is the difference?? I just don't understand why it matters what date the birthday is celebrated on. Please, someone enlighten me...what is so offensive about half b-days?? This is assuming that you don't have a party for the regular b-day of course.
I've been thinking about this since the thread started. I don't find them offensive and I'd show up gift in hand.

But - as a January baby who has always gotten 75% off calendars in droves and no gifts the rest of the year so I do have some idea - I guess for me I do think they kind of convey the wrong message. Your birthday is to celebrate your birth. I can totally see moving the celebration a few weeks in either direction, especially around major holidays.

But if you move it to a season when it's most convenient to entertain, then I think you really really are making the convenience and entertainment the focus and not the birthday. In some ways I think this is unfair to the child -- we'll give you a party when we're good and ready to. And in other ways I think it doesn't allow for the fact that every party will have its challenges and ups and downs and that this too is life. It's this concept of perfection that seems to me to be totally making parents and kids crazy. And it does kind of confuse the guests - are we celebrating 1? 2? 1.5? Summer?

So for me anyway, I wouldn't be comfortable with it. At 18 months I don't think it will make a whit of difference in any case though and as I said, ehn, I'd come. I love parties.

FWIW my son's birthday is towards the end of August and it's impossible to get people to come because of cottage and holiday trips and stuff. Last year I limited the guest list without accounting for that and ended up having a really, really small party and - it was totally fine. The year before that we were having 4 kids and my son got stomach flu for his birthday. Life happens.

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#26 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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Well, according to the OP's earlier posts, her DS's birthday is just a few days before Christmas and her family has been extended by remarriage, so everyone is going in different directions during the holidays.
I don't understand this argument. We all get a different lot in life. Some people have birthdays that happen at "easier" times of the year, and other people don't. I had a birthday in the middle of the summer. So, I didn't get a party with lots of kids because they were all on vacation. So we did something else. I'd have a couple close friends over and we'd go to a movie or do some really cool thing.

Birthdays are to celebrate the day you were born on. They aren't about presents or anything else.

I can see shifting the celebration by a week or two. That's what we generally do in order to find a weekend when the people who are important to us can come. But, by 6 months? That just seems ridiculous.
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#27 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the difference?? I just don't understand why it matters what date the birthday is celebrated on. Please, someone enlighten me...what is so offensive about half b-days?? This is assuming that you don't have a party for the regular b-day of course.
Id like to know too..

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#28 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Id like to know too..
Because it's not the kid's birthday. If you want to have a party in the summer, have a party. But calling it a "half birthday" doesn't really work.

I have kids with birthdays around Christmas too. We move them by a week (in either direction) and people who can come do, and those who can't don't. It's really not a big deal.
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#29 of 53 Old 05-17-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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I was thinking about starting to do half-birthday parties for DS too. His birthday is January 6th. This year, 2/3 of the people who were going to come to his party couldn't make it because of a snowstorm two days before. If we do half-birthdays, we can do a cookout or something, plus people aren't all partied out from the holidays. I don't see the problem with doing half-birthdays. Either way it's a big celebration for the kid once a year. I'd be irked if somebody were doing birthday AND half-birthday parties so that the kid could get double presents, but when it's just once a year, I'm cool with it.

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#30 of 53 Old 05-18-2010, 08:37 AM
 
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What do you guys think about small, family celebration on the child's actual birthday, then big party with friends on their half birthday? My daughter's birthday is in January, just like her father, and he said he hated not being able to do anything fun on his birthday because of the weather. My birthday is in September, but I always hated not being able to have a beach party or outdoor water party of some sort. We were considering doing this for our daughter as she got older.
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